The Young and The Restless

04/08/2011 15:09

Dear Speakeasy,

I am a 17 year old girl. So I have this friend, Rene. We are best friends, more than that; we're almost like sisters actually. We've been friends since eighth grade and have grown so close. She knows all my secrets and I practically live at her house. We always have a good time with each other and find it impossible to stay mad at each other. We are two halves of a whole.
I also have a boyfriend, Alex. He's the sweetest and so great for me. I'm so happy when I'm with him and I can't imagine myself with someone else. We have similar interests and he doesn’t laugh at me for my silly romantic notions. We love each other. He also knows how to make me feel good, if you know what I mean. We hang out a lot alone and we haven't had sex but we fool around and stuff. I love him.
That being said, sometimes Rene does things that leave me very confused. Like today, for instance, she tied my hands together with a scarf and wouldn’t let me go. And she was very sensual about it, too. She straddled me as well, the first time she's ever done something like that. And then she kissed me on the forehead. We're always doing stuff like that. Kisses on cheeks and arms and hands and foreheads and such (NEVER on lips) and hugging and throwing arms around shoulders or waists. We stroke each other too. I'm always playing with her hair. We will run our fingers once across a thigh or calf or arm or back. We tickle each other. These are all just things we do. People sometimes think we are a couple because of it and we love giving them the wrong idea. She's also told me that she's had deep conversations about her sexuality with another friend of ours and knows she's not gay. Those conversations happened a while ago, though and I know people can change. The biggest question I'm asking here is am I gay? I know you can't answer that for me, but could you give me some advice about what to do? I don't want to lose either relationship I have but I'm going to be graduating soon and I want to make sure I'm making the right choices. Both Alex and Rene make me happy. Sometimes I don't know which one I want to be with. Please send some advice that isn't "you’re a teenager, experimenting is natural." Thank you ever so much!
Sincerely,  Nel

 What Mary Says...  What Crystal Says...

Dear Nel,

I once made out with a girl in college and afterward she asked me, “Am I gay? Because I really enjoyed that.” I said, “Beats me. Figure it out.” And I went back to obsessing over my ex-boyfriend. So, yeah, I can’t tell you if you’re gay or not and I’m not even sure how to determine that.

Now, why must you make a choice between Alex and Rene? And why are you thinking that once you graduate one of the relationships must end?

I think girls are more apt to cuddle, or play with each other’s hair, or hold hands in the mall. We’re nurturing and maternal (save for that lady that the “Monster” movie was based on) and it’s comforting to be with your bestie at times and force her to pat your head or give you a pedicure because you know that nothing else is expected of you. The relationship just “is.” I think you’re just confused with Rene because you think you should be feeling something s*xual and you’re not and you’re afraid to hurt her if you tell her you don’t love her in the same way.

I think you’re lucky you have two people in your life that you love so much and that love you.                         












Dear Nel:

I don’t understand. You explicitly say you haven’t kissed Rene on the lips. Do you want to? How about any girl? You know, get frisky with a chicky? If there’s no desire to go downtown with a girl but there is with a boy, I’m really not sure you have a question. Now, you might say, “but sex isn’t everything,” and that would technically be true. But canoodling and petting are oft times comfort activities – not sexual ones. It might be that you’re just attracted to the way being with Rene makes you feel loved and soothed, not that you’re attracted to Rene.

Look, the APA defines being “gay” as “the pattern of sexual attraction, behavior and identity.” What that means is only YOU can lay claim to whether you’re gay or not. There is no standard set of criteria that we can check off. But all that naming, that categorization, that’s all really beside the point. Who you love is who you love, and it sounds to me like you love them both. Just maybe in different ways.

Shakespeare wrote of love, “I'll follow you and make a heaven out of hell, and I'll die by your hand which I love so well.” So take Mary. She’s my warm bowl of Mac n’cheese. She’s my comfort. It’s as if we were twins separated at birth. Hell, we even chatter that one day, our husbands both gone, we’ll end up two old biddies in a home somewhere talking trash about the orderlies. And that thought…it chills me the f*** out because I know that no matter what, I’ll always have my trusty friend there to help me through. For Mary, I would drop anything to help her in a moment of need. But for my husband, he’s the one for which I would move the stars. In the end, you just need to decide who makes you weak in the knees, and whose love even time itself would stand still for.


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